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Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress – Michigan Statewide Bill Tracker

Michigan currently has an above average rate of high school smoking and adult smoking, when compared to national rates. These rates will result in an estimated 213,000 deaths of children now under 18 due to smoking, with 5,200 children becoming daily smokers every year. Despite $4.59 billion in health care costs due to smoking and $4.78 billion in lost productivity, the state only spends 4.5% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, one of the lowest percentages in the country.

Although counter to the Michigan AG’s opinion, through our legal analysis, there is no preemption language present in state law keeping localities from raising the Minimum Legal Sales Age (MLSA) to 21; local governments are free to enact ordinances to better protect their kids from addiction. It has been our experience that the most powerful incentive for the state legislature to act is the initiative of local citizens and governmental leaders. Statewide, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Maine, and Massachusetts’ laws all began at the local level where powerful tobacco industry lobbyists have little sway.Constituents are an impetus for change at the community and statewide levels.

Recent Updates

  • 2/14/2017 – Genesee County Board of Commissioners vote 7-2 to enact Tobacco 21 throughout the county that includes Flint, Michigan.

  • 2/3/2017 – Ann Arbor City Council Member, Julie Grande, sponsor of the Tobacco 21 legislation says that the city will “vigorously defend” their ordinance against legal challenges.

  • 2/2/2017 – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette offers a formal opinion that state law preempts local

  • 1/1/2017 – Ann Arbor becomes the first community in Michigan to adopt a Tobacco 21 policy.

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    Other Helpful Resources:

    Tobacco Free Kids Michigan

    The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.

    American Lung Association State Report Card

    The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.

    SLATI State Information Michigan

    SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.

    The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

    1. Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
    2. Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
    3. Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
    4. Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

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